AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 120. Protecting Local Dark-Sky Areas and Sky Brightness as a Part of Education in Astronomy
Special Session Oral, Wednesday, January 9, 2002, 2:00-3:30pm, Georgetown East

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[120.05] Light and Heavy Pollution

J.-D. Mulholland (Institut Azur Espace, Le Bar sur Loup, France)

The AAS has recently added the subject of space debris to the purview of its pollution committee. Astronomers have always been concerned with the cosmic part of this subject: the zodiacal light, meteoroids, meteorites, the 4-km minor planet (4179) Toutatis, the 50-m bolide 2000YA, etc. What is new is the inclusion of manmade space trash. In the near-Earth environment, we have shown this latter component to be predominent. Astronomers need to be concerned, because it degrades astronomical equipment on orbit, as for example Hubble Space Telescope. The well-executed re-entry of MIR, which did a lot of astronomy, was a perfect combination of both light & heavy pollution. Even commercial aircraft sometimes pollute astronomical exposures, as we showed a few years ago at NASA/JSC. We will briefly expound on this subject preliminary to a Topical Session proposed for AAS Albuquerque next June.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: brigadee@rivieramail.com

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